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Do’s and Don’ts of Cold Calling for Freelance Writers

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In yesterday’s post, we went over a cold-calling script freelancers writers can use to drum up more freelance writing jobs. Today, as promised, I want to discuss some do’s and don’ts of cold calling. At the end, I’ll tell you a friendly group with which to start your cold calling campaign. I’ve been on both sides of the hiring desk, so what I’m about to relay is from my personal experience.

Your preferences, experiences and way of doing things may be completely different. And that’s fine. So take what you will from the following.

Do’s and Don’ts of Cold Calling for Freelance Writers

Be Brief: This almost goes without saying, but get your “elevator speech” down pat before you pick up the phone. Now, if the respondent is inclined to keep you on the line, by all means, talk away. But your call should be brief and to the point.

Practice your speech until it’s 30 seconds or less. You’d be amazed at how long 30 seconds is once you start talking, so anything longer seems reeeaaalllllyyy long to the person on the other end.

Ask about Followup: Even if the prospect blows you off, ask them how they prefer to be contacted – and how often. In my experience, most will give you this info just to get you off the phone if they don’t want to talk to you. You will have a few (very few) who will be rude and flat out tell you to more or less get lost. They’ll say something like, “We never use freelancers,” or “All of our writing is done in house.”

As I said though, these type of responses will be few and far in between, so don’t let that deter you.

Do Regular Followup: Once a prospect gives you a follow up method and timeframe, be sure to follow their instructions. If you follow up when you say you will – in the manner that they’ve prescribed – this alone will make you stand out because most freelancers are horrible about follow up.

How to Stay Top of Mind with Prospects for Freelance Writing Jobs

Make regular followup a part of your marketing routine. This is particularly effective after cold calling because you will be remembered so much more easily than those nameless, faceless, voiceless email queries prospects receive from freelancers all the time.

If you’ve cold called and do regular followup, when that prospect has a job to outsource, you will be top of mind almost every time.

Landing Freelance Writing Jobs: A Friendly Group to Start Cold Calling

When I first started to cold call for freelance writing jobs, I targeted web designers. I chose this group because I thought they would be the ones in the most dire need of my services. But, it turned out to be a good niche to target because these were some of the friendliest cold call recipients I’ve ever encountered.

I think the reason is a lot of web designers are solo entrepreneurs, or they may be two, three or four-man shops. In any case, they’re usually super busy and tend to wait until the last minute to look for freelance writers. Hence, they tend to be very grateful when they get a call from a freelance writer.

Many web designers offer content development for their clients. Some may do it themselves, but many like to outsource this. And, they like to partner with writers too. Now that SEO is all the rage, many web designers are looking for good SEO writers they can depend on to deliver the goods. I know because I have quite a few as clients. So if I had to start cold calling today, this is a group I’d definitely start with again.

Remember, while cold calling is scary, it is one of the quickest, easiest and cheapest ways to land freelance writing jobs. And because not many do it, it puts you head and shoulders above the competition.

So start dialing – and good luck!

Yuwanda Black is the founder of New Media Words (NewMediaWords.biz), an SEO writing company, and the publisher of InkwellEditorial.com, a leading blog for info on how to start a successful freelance writing career. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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Blogging for a Living: Mindset Considerations

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Blogging for a living seems fun and freeing. I agree.

I blogged for a bit as a pro. Living this lifestyle of working when, how and where you want to work feels awesome. But mindset plays a chief role in becoming a professional blogger. Few aspiring bloggers know this. I believe successful blogging is between the ears. How you choose to think, feel and act determines your blogging success or failure. Before you decide to blog for a living keep these considerations in mind.

Big Shifts Needed

I made a huge shift from scarcity to abundance to blog full time. You likely need to make the same shift because most folks grow up conditioned with feelings of poverty, scarcity, lack and limitation. Prepare for uncomfortable bumps in the blogging road during early days. Although you desire success and work hard, owning, facing, feeling and releasing fear-pain to develop your abundance consciousness feels highly unpleasant in moments. Be ready to make a huge mindset shift in order to blog full time.

Manage Your Energy Daily

Spend 30 minutes or more managing your energy to vibe from abundance, love, peace, generosity and trust. Pro bloggers vibe stable to become pro bloggers. Manage your energy to maintain a stable, calm vibe. I meditate, do Kriya yoga, do yin yoga and exercise daily. Do whatever vibes with you. Begin meditating with 5 minute sessions to slowly build up your habit. Expand your awareness. Manage your energy daily.

Be Aware of Your Thoughts and Feelings

Hands down, this is the most uncomfortable mental consideration to make because people plow through life on auto pilot. Most bloggers have no idea how they think and feel. Fewer understand how their thinking and feeling affects their blogging campaign or life in general. Blogging seems difficult but discomfort seems to be the culprit. Become hyper aware of your thoughts and feelings. Observe the difference between discomfort and true difficulties. I feel discomfort now because I have 3 hours to get my work done. We meet with friends tonight for dinner. But completing work in 3 hours seems not difficult to me, although finishing the task tests my limits, feeling quite uncomfortable.

Blogging for a living requires intense mental due diligence. Some people seem born with an expanded awareness. Other folks grow up around success conscious people. But the majority needs to practice being aware of their thoughts and feelings to succeed because until you own, feel and release destructive thought and feeling patterns you have a tough time making any headway with your blogging campaign. Being a successful business owner requires complete honesty with self. Example; 2 minutes ago, after enjoying a quick bowl of cereal, I found myself lost in a 5 minute YouTube basketball loop. I scanned a few videos to enjoy. But being honest with myself alerted me to my error; I have less than 3 hours to get my work done, so why do I waste time scanning YouTube basketball videos? Being honest and flat out straight with myself brought me back to here to write this post.

Nobody said this blogging journey guarantees an easy ride, but the fun and freedom of blogging for a living seems worth the mental discomfort.

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1 Often Ignored Factor for Blogging Success

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Successful blogging expands on a foundation of trust.

People must trust you before they hire you or buy your stuff. Bloggers must trust you before they give you admin rights to guest post on their blog. Zac Johnson gave me publishing rights 4 years ago. Over 1000 guest posts ago, he trusted me enough to offer me log in credentials and the right to publish posts on his blog. Did earning that trust occur easily for me. No; of course not. Hundreds to thousands of hours of blogging factor in to gaining both skills and exposure enough to land publishing rights on perhaps the top blogging tips blog on earth. But did earning his trust seem worth it? Yes, of course. I circle the globe as a pro blogger, living a life of fun and freedom. Publishing guest posts here factored into my globe trotting lifestyle.

New bloggers often mean well but seem deluded. Newbies believe they can guest post anywhere, land clients any time and attract eBook customers within days or weeks of buying their domain and hosting. Impossible. Why? Newbie bloggers seem highly unskilled and lack massive exposure. Makes perfect sense. If you have 40 hours of blogging practice under your belt, how can you earn any reader’s, customer’s or client’s trust? You cannot because you have no clue what you are doing yet, possessing few skills and virtually no exposure. Do not worry, newbie bloggers; put in the generous effort and time, and you will gain skills and exposure enough to be trusted, and with trust comes increasing traffic and increasing blogging profits.

Trust Example

My friend Eric Cole just bought one of my eBooks along with an eBook from rockstar entrepreneur Chris Brogan:

Eric bought our eBooks because he trusts us. He trusts us because we both put in tens of thousands of hours practicing, creating and connecting, giving much of our lives to serving people and building our businesses. Note; Chris has been at this game far longer than I. We practiced, gain skills and exposure, popped up on the blogging radar screen, and more awesome folks notice us.

I did not kill myself by working myself to death, to gain trust and to earn credibility, but I had to follow my fun – blogging passionately – and nudge into fears to do enough creating and connecting to the point where I became skilled and known enough to earn credibility. This is the eBook of mine Eric bought:

How to Find Your Writing Voice

At one point, this was the highest rated eBook in its category, with 59 reviews, almost all 5 star reviews. Why did Eric buy it? Why did it become the highest rated eBook in its category on all of Amazon? I spent thousands of hours writing, gained skills and exposure, earned trust and success flowed to me. No way could I write this eBook 2 weeks into my blogging career. No skills! No exposure! No trust! How could I teach people how to find your writing voice? I could only write 300 words back then before crying in frustration, LOL 🙂 If I could only write 300 unclear, not too confident, words, nobody trusted my writing or blogging skills. Every single blogger you meet struggles through a similar journey as a newbie.

Never overlook the trust factor. Practice your butt off. Create and connect for thousands of hours. Trust will come. Credibility will knock on your cyber door. Steadily earning the trust of more folks accelerates your blogging success and oh yeah, it’s definitely worth it.

 

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How to Deal with the Overwhelm of Blogging Success

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I am no blogging billionaire. Currently.

But some days, as success builds, I feel overwhelmed. How do you devote time and energy to blogging and live a rich life offline too? Do you feel overwhelmed by slow, steadily increasing blogging success? Even though experiencing success feels good, the increased responsibility may feel daunting. I love my gig. But in moments, I fear being up until 1 AM to complete my work day.

Follow these tips to deal with the overwhelm of blogging success.

1: Address the Overwhelmed Feeling as Being Fear

Feeling overwhelmed is fear, plain and simple. Feel the fear. Fear passes. Overwhelm vanishes.

All successful business owners need face, feel and release fears to accelerate their growth. Every successful blogger faces, feels and releases overwhelmed emotions to proceed from a calm, abundant energy. Face your fears. Feel and release overwhelm to proceed from a calm, peaceful energy.

2: Trade Overwhelm for Gratitude

Change your perspective. Trade the overwhelmed feeling for a feeling of genuine gratitude for money flowing freely to you. Even if you love your gig, taking on increased responsibility feels uncomfortable sometimes. But receiving more and more money for your increased responsibility frees you from financial stresses like worrying about paying bills. Dwell on gratitude. Overwhelm dies quickly in an appreciative environment. Making more money and largely enjoying the ride feels fun, good and freeing. Remember this any time overwhelmed, swamped emotions flood your mind.

3: Ask for Help

Hire someone to help with specific blogging tasks. Outsource. Hand off certain tasks to free up your schedule. Reduce overwhelm by hiring someone to help you or by coming to a mutually beneficial agreement which lessens your blogging load. Hire experts to help you in your business. Outsource intelligently to relax, to leverage and to let go the feeling of being completely burned out with your blogging business duties.

 4: Simplify Your Interactions

A few folks pitched me sponsored post opportunities today. I responded with 2 sentences. I used approximately 9 words and 8 seconds to respond to each email. Release overwhelm by simplifying interactions. Seven figure bloggers sometimes respond only to 1 or 2 sentence emails. Pros often respond with 1-2 words. Otherwise, pros become completely overwhelmed with the sheer volume of business opportunities flowing to their inbox daily. Use a few words to make your point and to dissolve the swamped feeling plaguing successful bloggers.

5: Reduce Interactions

Iconic, fictitious trader Gordon Gekko said in the movie Wall Street: “100 deals cross my desk every day. I choose one.”

As the sponsored post pitches, partnership pitches and overall work volume builds, you need to physically respond to only a small handful of engagements daily to leverage, to keep increasing your traffic and to keep increasing your blogging profits. No highly successful bloggers responds to 1000 plus interactions daily through email, Twitter and Facebook because you need to give most of your time, attention and energy to creating content and building bonds versus desperately trying to respond to every retweet, at least if you want your blogging business to keep growing.

Surrender. After responding to a handful of emails and retweets, let everything else go, to focus your attention and energy on what brings the greatest scale, what benefits the most people and what benefits your blogging business. Tony Robbins gives most of his attention and energy to inspiring millions through live seminars, through doing TV interviews and by writing books; he ain’t responding individually to 5000 emails daily. Be 100% committed to your blog and business growth by giving your time and energy to what matters most.

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